The Name of Mirdita

Once upon a time there was a father who had five sons. He worked long and hard in his life, but was unlucky in money. So, when it came time to divide his very few possessions among his sons, he gave a sieve (shoshë) to the first, a saddle (shalë) to the second, a sword (shpatë) to the third, shpatë, a funnel (hinkë) to the fourth,and told the fifth to go and rule over Orosh. This gives credence to the old proverb that the regions of Shalë, Shosh, Kuzhnen, Spaç and Orosh are closely related with one-another of old. 

Another version of the legend speaks of three brothers, Shalë, Shosh and Mirdita. The origin of the name stretches far into days long gone, when the King made war on his enemies and the local mirditas swelled the ranks of his armies. On a certain campaign, the King demurred from giving battle on a Friday and desired the fighting the begin on the Saturday. The chieftain of the mirditas, hearing of the King’s wish during the council of war, managed to persuaded him that attacking the enemy on the Friday would catch him unawares and give the King’s arms a glorious victory. So, the King took the advice, gave battle on the Friday and won such a great triumph, that it was henceforth known as the Good Day (Dita e Mirë).


Hyacynthe Hecquard, Histoire et description de la Haute Albanie ou Guégarie. (Paris: Arthus Bertrand, 1858), k. 4. 

Mark Tirta, Mitologjia ndër shqiptarë. (Tiranë: Akademia e Shkencave e Shqipërisë, 2004). 

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